Survivors and Serial Abuse

This edition of VEX was going to contain part two of Therapy In The News, which was going to be a report on the battle going on between two big psychotherapy governing bodies over who can join who. Yet the more I read the report in ĎZESTí (August Edition), sent on to me by a member of the Network, the more I realised that the outcome of this battle was meaningless to survivors of abuse, and for those currently in therapy.

So instead this monthís edition of VEX concentrates on ĎMaking A Complaintí. Dealing with this causes more problems to survivors than anything else. One of the main concerns is stopping the serial abuser. As soon as a survivor finds out that this person as abused before it increases the feeling of betrayal, but also makes this person more determined. For those members of the network reading this, this edition of VEX is a tribute. They are often dismissed as obsessives, or bitter individuals. They are not; the spirit they possess is the one that drives the human race on to better things.

Making A Complaint 

Having just been a victim of abuse, you are then confronted with what to do next. Trying to make sense of what as happened is the first effect of abuse, then comes the shock. Then the anger. At this stage most people donít ever want to ever see their abuser ever again. After a while though you realise that it makes more sense to try and resolve the problems. More often than not this is where the real problems start. You contact your counsellor/therapist/

You name it. They donít want to know.


Well they know what youíre now looking for, something which they cannot give.

What is that?

An apology. They might give it verbally (then take it back) but very rarely in writing. An admission of guilt is something the law can work on.

Saying sorry is something most people learn as a small child. Itís a simple learning process, after all everyone makes mistakes.

Counsellors and Therapistís donít. This is a group of people very quick to take credit and very slow to take responsibility.

Surely the organisation they belong too can do something?

Well you can make a complaint, but it can take a very long time to come before

the department dealing with complaints. And these departments are renown for Ďextending the abuseí.

What that does that mean?

They are indifferent at best and abusive at worst. For example it can take months for them to establish the person youíre complaining about is a member.

So whatís the purpose of these organisations?

Why do therapists join them?

Well would anyone go to a person who advertised along the lines of "I give good advice? Phone now for details and to make an appointment." In a word Ďcredibilityí.

Counsellors and Therapists donít give advice

Good ones donít. I thought we were talking about abuse.

I think Iíll go and see a solicitor.

Itís very hard to get legal aid, and the law is not clear on any of this. And like complaining to governing bodies, it takes a long time.

There must be something I can do?

There is, talk to someone at the Citizen Advice Bureaux, if they get enough complaints they will act.

What happens if they canít help?

A good idea is to send in a report. So at least if the person abuses someone else, and you find out about it they cannot say, "They didnít know." Make sure you send a copy to the VEX as well.

What about this other organisation POPAN, can they help?

A lot depends on the nature of the complaint.

Is that it?

Recovery from any kind of abuse takes a very long time. In the beginning you have more down days than up. Like a scar itís very sensitive, any stress at all will bring back memories of the abuse. All the people in the network have gone through this. Just live one day at a time.

That sounds like advice

No, itís support. Thatís what the Network and Vex is here for.